The Hockey Stick Galaxy

Esahubble_potw1731a_500

esahubble_potw1731a July 31st, 2017

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

The star of this Hubble Picture of the Week is a galaxy known as NGC 4656, located in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). However, it also has a somewhat more interesting and intriguing name: the Hockey Stick Galaxy! The reason for this is a little unclear from this partial view, which shows the bright central region, but the galaxy is actually shaped like an elongated, warped stick, stretching out through space until it curls around at one end to form a striking imitation of a celestial hockey stick. This unusual shape is thought to be due to an interaction between NGC 4656 and a couple of near neighbours, NGC 4631 (otherwise known as The Whale Galaxy) and NGC 4627 (a small elliptical). Galactic interactions can completely reshape a celestial object, shifting and warping its constituent gas, stars, and dust into bizarre and beautiful configurations. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has spied a large number of interacting galaxies over the years, from the cosmic rose of Arp 273 to the egg-penguin duo of Arp 142 and the pinwheel swirls of Arp 240. More Hubble images of interacting galaxies can be seen here.

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1731a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
NGC 4656
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy » Type » Spiral
Esahubble_potw1731a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 12h 43m 59.2s
DEC = 32° 10’ 34.5”
Orientation
North is 82.2° CCW
Field of View
2.8 x 2.6 arcminutes
Constellation
Canes Venatici

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Ultraviolet (UV) 336.0 nm
Arrow_left_blue Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (B) 438.0 nm
Arrow_left_green Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (V) 547.0 nm
Arrow_left_purple Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Ultraviolet (UV) 275.0 nm
Arrow_left_green Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (V) 555.0 nm
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (H-alpha) 657.0 nm
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Infrared (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_purple
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_red
Esahubble_potw1731a_1280
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ID
potw1731a
Subject Category
C.5.1.1  
Subject Name
NGC 4656
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1731a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3
Color Assignment
Blue, Blue, Green, Purple, Green, Red, Red
Band
Ultraviolet, Optical, Optical, Ultraviolet, Optical, Optical, Infrared
Bandpass
UV, B, V, UV, V, H-alpha, I
Central Wavelength
336, 438, 547, 275, 555, 657, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
190.996479974, 32.1762561368
Reference Dimension
4169.0, 3909.0
Reference Pixel
2084.5, 1954.5
Scale
-1.10140245779e-05, 1.10140245779e-05
Rotation
82.16
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw1731a
Metadata Date
2017-01-24T16:31:14+01:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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There is no distance meta data in this image.